Original Research

Corruption and the Challenges of Good Governance in the Nigerian Public Sector

Jacob Olufemi Fatile
Africa’s Public Service Delivery & Performance Review | Vol 1, No 3 | a35 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/apsdpr.v1i3.35 | © 2012 Jacob Olufemi Fatile | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 November 2016 | Published: 01 December 2012

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Jacob Olufemi Fatile, Lagos State University, Nigeria

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The role of the public service in achieving good governance cannot be underestimated. This can be gleaned from the central role it plays in the formulation and implementation of policies designed for the development of the society. In Nigeria, the role of public service has come under severe criticisms within the context of the gap that exists between its anticipated role and its actual output in guiding the society along the course leading to the desired goal as a result of corruption. This article observes that the fact that Nigeria is still grappling with the problems of bad governance goes to show the level of non-accountability and ever present manifestation of crude corruption that is open, naked, undisguised and yet legally untameable because of the system. The article also reveals that many of the anti-corruption efforts are part of the liberal reforms that are based on the assumption that corruption is an individual act or personal misuse of public office for private gain. It points out that as laudable as the intentions of government in putting in place institutions and laws meant to curb corruption, the enforcement of these laws has left much to be desired. In fact, the various reform efforts of the Nigerian government are of limited value because they fail to take into account much of the dynamics that support corruption in the country. Thus, people now regard the law as paper tigers, meant only to the enforced when breached by low-level public officers. While successive administrations have taken partially successful steps to control corruption, these efforts have not fundamentally undermined the supporting environmentfor corruption in the country. The article therefore recommends the need for greater transparency in the management of public funds by the public office holders as well as the need for political will and commitment from governments at Federal, State and Local, including bureaucracies at various levels of governance in the country. The article concludes that there is a need to transform social values as well as state institutions that work as enabling environments for corruption.  The also has enormous responsibility in controlling corruption and restoring the hope to the citizenry goodgovernance. Unless good governance is in place with accountability carefully observed, sustainable development cannot be realized.


Corruption; Good Governance; Service Delivery; Accountability; Nigeria


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